The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

Terror and Waste

Web posted on August 17, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

Well, I was hoping for a little summer quiet, but I should know better by now. The latest bit of attempted terror has struck a little close to home. The whole saga of how they found that character (I refuse to acknowledge his name) in Strathroy sounded more like something that the late Tom Clancy might have come up with. This time the good guys got everything right and got him before he managed to carry out his plans. I suppose I should be referring to him as the alleged suspect, however the evidence released to far is quite conclusive. The technology that the authorities have at their disposal is probably more sophisticated than we see on all those TV shows. The fact that they were able to move as quickly as they did, and prevented him from carrying out his "mission" proves that we can spend money responsibly and get the job done. We still need to strengthen Bill C-51 rather than weaken it as Young Trudeau wants to do.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that too many of these characters love to brag about what they are planning to do. It's almost as if they want to get caught. If you go back and look up the history of many of these some type of mental issues. As we now know, the family and members of his mosque knew there was a problem. Way too many are loners or misfits looking for something to associate with. This makes them easy targets for the terrorist groups to radicalize them. There are many lost souls out there in need of help before they go down the wrong path. Once they are radicalized it's too late. Greater effort must go into identifying and helping those at risk. Getting right help must be made easier.

Strengthening both prevention and enforcement is the best way to approach the situation. No matter how much effort goes into preventing radicalization, people will slip through the cracks. When that happens we need every resource available to make sure that they cannot complete their plans. The home grown, self radicalized, lone wolf is the least predictable and most dangerous person out there. We still have the potential of having immigrants being infiltrated by any number of terrorist groups, but if they can get someone born here to do their dirty work, why should they waste valuable resources. We still have to be vigilant. It's the people who don't advertise their intent that are the most dangerous of all. There is no cheap, simple and easy solution, but the right combination of prevention, vigilance and enforcement should go a very long way to keep us relatively safe. I suppose that we all have our part to do and if we see something that just does not look or feel right, let the authorities know. It could be something totally harmless, or a grow op, or a meth lab, or some guy building bombs and planning something really bad.

As you know by now I avoid using names people and organizations when it comes to this sort of stuff. I feel that by doing so, it gives them the publicity and notoriety they want. If we avoid naming these people, they can't become heroes for the cause. By not using the name of the organization it takes away it's notoriety.

On a less serious but still newsworthy topic, there have been some issues at our waste facility with the new fee for dropping off yard waste. Some people were very upset at having to pay $5.00 to drop off their yard waste. This prompted the city to hire security guards. OK, let me see if I have this right, we paying a security company good money to make sure that a few upset people don't do something stupid. I am reasonably sure that we don't have hundreds of people lining up with their yard waste every day. I would love to see the numbers of how much new revenue is generated by this, and well as the money spent on the (temporary I hope) security guards. I would also love to know the cost of a video surveillance system (this might already be in place) and a sign indicating that all people going through the gate are being recorded for security purposes. With video footage, a conviction is rather easy these days. This could have only been accomplished by the pure genius of 1 Carden Street.

First of all we should not be blaming the employees at the waste facility, they are only doing their job. The blame goes back to those characters sitting around the horseshoe in council chambers, who aren't doing their job. The new fees should not have been put in place until the new yard waste pick up system kicked in. Hello, what were they thinking.

Oh well, by the time the next election comes around the voters will have forgotten this little indiscretion, as well as the millions of dollars wasted on things like the downtown energy scheme, not to mention that bridge on Niska Road. For a city that is trying to be at the leading edge of being environmentally friendly and responsible, we are sure making some really questionable (at best) decisions.

It is time for some real house cleaning at City Hall. We need to have a complete new set of faces around that horseshoe after the next election. I really don't care which group they are a part of, they all need to go. As for the two competing special interest groups, just go away. Educated and informed voters don't need these groups telling them who to vote for (or not to vote for). Wishful thinking on my part. At this point I will probably vote for any candidate not supported by either special interest group.

We need councillors who will look after the needs of the voters not their own personal political agenda. We also need new ideas and fresh perspectives.

Our next municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday October 22, 2018.

My Olympic rant will be next week.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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